Saturday, April 09, 2011

Boomer Reality Check

from Mediapost:

Keep The Active Lifestyle In Mind
There's no question the Baby Boomer market is an important one for marketers to target. However, when marketing to Boomers, it is essential to focus on the active nature of this population base. It's not just their age, experience and disposable income that make this group attractive -- it's their way of life. Individuals in their early 60s are living life as if they were still 40.

Thus, we should continue to engage them with that active lifestyle in mind. For these individuals, quality-of-life issues are essential. Whether it's health care decisions, lifestyle choices or consumer purchases, these Boomers are making decisions based upon what's essential for maintaining their quality of life.

When I started working on the concept of The Healthy Aging brand over 15 years ago, no one wanted to talk about growing older. Finally, Baby Boomers are starting to see they need good information -- and not just stuff about how decrepit they are or will be. They want to know, "how can I actively pursue my next 50 years?"

This is no longer the iron-poor, tired-blood generation that can be fit into a stereotype for mass marketing campaigns. These are decision-makers that set their own agendas. They are engaged in social media. They love to conduct their own research and share their opinions. They are starting businesses. So whether you publish a magazine targeting this audience as I do or have a consumer product, financial instrument or other content that you want to market, make sure you're cognizant that this group can still think for itself.

An essential element is to fashion a dialogue that is real to them. This is an audience that has been marketed to for decades. They can see through the hard sell; thus, a sophisticated approach is necessary. It's an audience that also grew up with brand loyalty. They are still willing to experiment, but once they find something that works and benefits them, they will continue to remain loyal.

If it's an active lifestyle concept you're pitching, make it reflect this generation's need for experiential engagement. For years when people have thought about aging, the focus has been on physical fitness. However, Boomers are also focused on their mental wellness, the importance of social support systems and financial well-being.

These Boomers are seeking content, ideas, inspiration and critical information in the areas of physical, mental and financial health as a means to take greater responsibility for their own way of life. They are engaged online in researching these topics. It's not how the medication, vitamin or herbal supplement benefits them; it's how their lives are enhanced by taking them. Boomers want to see how others of their generation are staying fit and living active lifestyles. On-air commercials, editorial content and online video should all reflect this. Boomers must be showcased, offering others inspirational models for success.

Boomers have also discovered Facebook. They are using it not only to stay in touch with family members and friends by sharing their photos and experiences, but are looking to engage with brands as well. Those brands that speak directly to their needs will be the ones Boomers embrace.

Marketers have been salivating for years, waiting for the Baby Boomer generation to come of age. The generation weaned on television programming and commercials, magazines, department stores, family medical practitioners, nightly newscasts and weekly news magazines is now a niche market. Just like other niche markets, they can be targeted directly. Unlike the past, when older Americans were all about retirement and disengaging from the market, Baby Boomers are all about growing the market. How advertisers, marketers and publishers engage them will determine how big of a market share they will reap from this coveted audience.

Carolyn Worthington is publisher of "Healthy Aging Magazine" and producer of Healthy Aging online.

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Understanding the Teen Consumer 2011

Gotta couple reports on two different age groups today.

At 6pm, we'll have a report on my generation. Both reports are from Mediapost.

Social Segmentation Key For Brands Reaching Consumers

As the father of a teenage daughter, there are a few things that I know for sure: Teen girls love to shop, always have their phones (quickly becoming smart devices), and are all extremely active on Facebook. A few more things to consider: Facebook's growth will only continue; the proliferation of smart-mobile devices will explode in the next few years; and teens will still gather and meet to shop. Yes, as in real brick-and-mortar stores.

That should make all brands who market to teen girls smile with possibilities. Marketers can marry these to reach and engage teens to drive purchases. But, increasingly, brands need the ability to segment their audience to deliver relevant content based on a consumer's likes, interests, location and other factors. Social segmentation is a key to your brand's social media success.

Hyper-targeting and localizing content to fans is finding much success. In fact, Facebook announced last week it's starting to mine real-time conversations to target real-time ads. This is really brilliant as it plays towards the long-held promise of local to deliver timely, relevant and measureable ads that will drive sales. And Twitter is now letting some marketers segment by location, allowing a Twitter user in, say, England to see a different ad than a U.S. user.

This is a trend we are seeing across the industry -- using the power of the social graph to hyper-target content to consumers, both in paid advertising and through the content your brand publishes on Facebook and other networks.

Consider this possible experience: My daughter, armed with her mobile phone, enters an American Eagle store. She checks-in via Facebook Places so now American Eagle can deliver her timely and relevant content, like a coupon or sales information on their new line of cool sweaters. The coupon pushes her to purchase. While checking out, American Eagle can deliver additional rewarding and engaging content -- a thank you for her purchase. Maybe it's another coupon?

Or, even better, 20% off if she buys a virtual gift card for a friend, perhaps to purchase one of those cool and hip new sweaters. So the virtual gift card, along with an image of that really cool sweater, shows up in that lucky friend's newsfeed. Of course, all this is happening for her social network to see. And I'm certain that lucky friend who got the gift card will come to the store (or go online) to purchase something. And then the process repeats itself.

According to Facebook, the average user has 150 friends, and I'd argue that teens average slightly higher. And we know that peer recommendation accounts for 90% of purchases. That's a powerful and influential social network. Social media has a tremendous local-connection capability. Brands just need have the tools and platform to target and segment their audiences so they can capitalize on it.

It is Marketing 101: Know your audience and what they want ... and then deliver it to them at key times. Today, there are platforms like ours that allow brands to deliver locally relevant and timely content effectively and efficiently, as well as plenty of other social functionalities. It doesn't have to be hard and complicated if you have the correct tools to manage your increasingly expanding and sophisticated social communities. And with Facebook's growth, marketers are moving towards these comprehensive, turnkey platforms to harness social media's full potential, especially the growing need to segment and target.

One of our clients, a global quick-serve restaurant, does a remarkable job of leveraging the full potential of social media. Its social presence is not only through its national voice on its official Facebook Page and Twitter accounts but also through locally relevant content delivered via its "Local" Tab. It allows the QSR to segment its 7.6 million Facebook users to deliver locally relevant content about events, coupons and specials. The iconic brand is enabling highly personalized, targeted and relevant social content that gets customers in the door and drives sales. That's true social segmentation that gets incredible engagement and results -- a real ROI.

Facebook holds a wealth of opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers based on location, interests, gender, history and even your circle of friend's interests. And teenagers are the most active audience on Facebook. Think of the possibilities for your brand.

As social media continues its mainstream adoption, brands must start truly maximizing all its opportunities and functionalities. We believe further social segmentation, especially at the local level, will be a key to success. Social segmentation is a word your marketing staff should be actively promoting and using daily. Get to know it and put it into action.

Founder and CEO Reggie Bradford brings nearly two decades of technology leadership and experience to Vitrue, the company he founded in 2006. Vitrue is a provider of social media software, offering SaaS solutions to help brands and agencies harness the marketing-communications potential of social media on Facebook, Twitter and other social communities.

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1 of my Favorite Sales Stories...

Another one today from

Turning Migraines into Opportunities
by Anne Miller
I love this crazy little story. It reminds us that listening to buyers can create much bigger opportunities.

A young man from Texas moves to California and goes to a large department store for a job.

Manager says: "Have any sales experience?"

Fellow replies: "Yes, I sold some back home."

The manager liked him, hired him, and said, "You start tomorrow. I'll come down at the end of the day to see how you did."

The young man's day was rough, but he got through it. The sales manager came down as promised at the end of the day.

"How many sales did you make?" he asked.

"One," said the new hire...

SalesDog 2701 Loker Ave. West, Ste. 148, Carlsbad, CA 92010
Tel: 760-476-3700 • Fax: 760-476-3733 • Web:

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

by Karl Greenberg
The automaker is introducing a "Minivan Pledge," allowing those who purchase a new 2011 Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan during April to return the vehicle -- no questions asked -- within 60 days. Consumers can also choose customer cash or special financing starting at 2.9% for 60 months. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
According to the second annual Millennial Donors Survey, 93% of people ages 20 to 35, who are often characterized as self-centered and disconnected, gave to non-profits. The bulk of those gifts were small -- 58% of survey respondents said their maximum gift was $150, though 10% said they gave $1,000 or more, in 2010. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Chipotle's "Wrap What You Love" contest is an extension of the chain's "Unlimited Time Only" campaign, in which all of its burritos are being wrapped in gold foil (rather than its usual aluminum foil) to call attention to its unchanging, "unlimited time" mission of delivering premium-quality, sustainable fast food. That campaign began in March and will run through June. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Kantar Retail says March sales rose 2.5%, compared to 4.4% in the prior month, and 9.2% in March a year ago. The International Council of Shopping Centers, which tracks a slightly different group of stores, says its index registered a 2% gain, on the high side of its expectations. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"National pride transcends generations and remains centrally relevant even after decades of acculturation," say the report's authors. "If marketers want their products and messages to resonate, then targeting and tailoring to specific countries is imperative." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"Nearly all the sites require way too much work for too little reward. In a lot of cases this means having to pick up the phone to call a lender or actually going through the apply process -- all just to find out if the offer is going to be competitive. This simply isn't a viable business strategy (if these firms are looking for any traction from their sites)." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The contest was part of Samsung's Hope For Children social responsibility cause. While past contests revolved around written entries only, for this year's contest, Samsung sent video production kits (which included a Samsung laptop and video recorder) to 50 finalists to create videos about their projects. ...Read the whole story >>

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Social Vs Traditional Advertising

Today, another study comparing the two:

Social Ads Trail Traditional Media

Traditional media advertising remains a more effective driver of online traffic than the social networking equivalent, a multimarket study has found.

Consultancy Deloitte and research firm YouGov polled 12,077 people in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and US, combining the results with qualitative studies from Brazil, India and Korea.

Respondents were asked how often they visited websites after being exposed to various types of media, dividing answers into three categories: "frequently," "occasionally" and "rarely or never."

In all of the nations assessed, social networks registered scores below those of newspaper ads, radio spots and offers distributed by email.

"Social networks may sometimes feel ubiquitous, but they remain an emerging business based on rapid and ongoing innovation," said Andrew Haughton, a strategy consultant at Deloitte.

"There is an opportunity to exert real influence on consumer views and purchase decisions, but it is likely to require greater sophistication in how brands reach social network users."

Social media totals achieved 3% in the UK, and reached a peak -- albeit still in single digits -- of 9% in the US.

Search engines returned the best ratings, as 36% of contributors agreed properties like Google and Bing regularly led them to visit other websites, including 43% in Japan.

Television ads followed on 20%, beating email alerts and deals with 16%, and press advertising's 13%.

Based on data collected across the last three years, Deloitte revealed email marketing has become more effective, as the number of Americans accessing sites having started at this point rose from 61% to 66%.

These figures stood at 54% and 63% in Germany, and Japan lodged a modest increase, rising one percentage point to 68%.

Although preferences covering search, television, email and the further formats monitored proved largely constant in most countries, the UK witnessed a divergent trend.

The only segment improving in efficacy terms among the British panel were ads on different websites, recording 33% for driving traffic, measured against 31% in 2008.

By contrast, search endured a decline from 86% to 68%, coming in at 70% and 60% for television, while email also experienced a slide, as a high of 65% dwindled to 47%.

During the same timeframe, social networks delivered a contraction from 32% to 20%, meaning 3% of members now "frequently" find material via this route, and 17% "occasionally" do so.

Within this, 38% of 14-21 year olds in the UK often viewed specific internet content as a consequence of advertising on social networks, dipping to 5% for 64-75 year olds.

Such a pattern was consistent with Germany, where 27% of the sample accessed an online platform after seeing ads on sites such as Facebook, hitting 53% for the youngest netizens, but just 13% among the oldest.

The "biggest disappointment", however, may be the 28-44 year old category, posting 26% in the UK, 29% in Japan and Germany, 39% in France and 47% in the US.

Putting this into context, radio secured 60% from Americans of an equal age profile, demonstrating that Web 2.0 sites have some distance to make up on traditional channels.

Overall, the study suggested as social media usage and advertising are in their "infancy", more time, analysis and experimentation will be required before drawing conclusions.

(Source: World Advertising Research Center with data sourced from Deloitte, 03/29/11)

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Let's Eat

It's a couple hours before my lunch meeting, so reading this makes me hungry:

The Fastest-Growing Restaurant Brands

Five Guys Burgers and Fries was the fastest-growing restaurant chain in 2010, a year marked by a return to sales growth by the nation's biggest brands, according to market research firm Technomic Inc.

Systemwide sales at the 500 largest chains in the United States rose 1.8% to $234 billion in 2010, after falling 0.8% to $230 billion in 2009, the firm found in its annual Technomic Top 500 report.

More than half the foodservice chains included in the Top 500 recorded sales increases in 2010, Technomic said. Only 231 chains reported annual sales declines last year, compared with 283 chains that posted sales decreases in 2009.

"We are pleased to see improvements in the U.S. economy begin to translate into improved performance for the leading restaurant chains," said Ron Paul, president of Technomic. "The industry has a lot of ground to recover and still faces many challenges. But our latest findings on 2010 chain performance are certainly encouraging."

Fast-casual and limited-service sandwich chains continue to be among the fastest-growing restaurant brands in the country. Among chains with at least $200 million in annual sales, Five Guys Burgers and Fries grew the fastest in 2010, with sales up 38% to an estimated $625 million and a 35% growth in units. Jimmy John's increased sales 22% to an estimated $735 million and increased its store count by 20%. Fast-casual heavyweight Chipotle Mexican Grill grew sales 21% to $1.83 billion and expanded its store count by 14%.

Rounding out the top 10 fastest-growing chains in 2010 were BJ's Restaurants (20% growth in sales to $514 million), Yard House (18% growth in sales to $216 million), Cheddar's (14% growth in sales to $309 million), Buffalo Wild Wings (14% growth in sales to $1.712 billion), Firehouse Subs (14% growth in sales to $235 million), Noodles & Co. (14% growth in sales to $261 million), and Panda Express (13% growth in sales to $1.404 billion).

In all, the top 10 fastest-growing chains increased sales 18% to $7.8 billion and expanded their collective system size 14% in 2010, Technomic found.

Technomic noted that 2010 was a comeback year for the steak category, which went from a 6.4% sales decline in 2009 to a gain of 2.2% last year. The firm said the sector's sales turnaround outperformed the full-service category's average annual performance. Headwinds remain for steakhouses, however, in the form of slowed unit expansion, restaurant closures, and a decrease in traffic and average check.

Several other segments stood out in the report, Technomic said, including limited-service Asian, which increased sales 9.3%. Other fast-growing sectors were limited-service pizza, doughnut, and coffee and other beverages, led by sales growth of 7.8% at Pizza Hut, 6.1% at Dunkin' Donuts and 8.7% at Starbucks, respectively.

As a whole, limited-service sales increased 2.5%, Technomic found.

The world's two biggest restaurant chains, Subway and McDonald's, each posted healthy sales gains for 2010. McDonald's revenues increased 4.4% to $32.4 billion, while Subway's 6% growth to $10.6 billion outpaced the 1.8% sales increase of its other sandwich category.

Those two quick-service powerhouses, as well as competitors like Wendy's and Yum! Brands Inc., have expressed aggressive international-growth goals, and Technomic's research indicates that foreign markets hold significant sales growth potential. The top 500 chains' international-sales growth outperformed their collective domestic business in 2010. International sales were up 3.1%, compared with 1.8% in the United States, while unit expansion abroad was 3.7%, compared with 0.5% growth in the United States.

(Source: Nation's Restaurant News, 03/14/11)

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Getting Serious?

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Asking for Commitment

All of us in sales have, since day one, had it drilled into us that we must "ask for commitment" from the buyer. Unfortunately, too many of us interpret this to mean simply, "ask for the order." Thus, we feel that the only time to ask for commitment is at the end of the sale -- at the "close" -- when we ask for the Ultimate Commitment.

In reality, you should be asking for commitments at various points in a sales cycle. Why? Well, any of you who have experienced "things were going so great, why won't she call me back" syndrome will understand why.

First, if a prospect is unwilling to agree to do even the smallest request, what does that signal to you about how serious this prospect is?

Second, the more commitments you get your prospect to make and keep, the more he has invested in the deal, the more he's stuck his neck out, the more difficult it will be for him to simply walk away from it.

Think about it. If your contact has invested lots of his personal time, and gotten others to do the same (including the boss); if this investment has become a high-profile one throughout the organization, it's going to be pretty difficult for him to simply pull out and say, "we're just going to stick with the status quo," without getting a whole lot of egg on his face.

Remember, commitment is a two-way street. Too often, out of an eagerness to please, we commit to doing something for our prospects without asking for a reciprocal commitment from them. You have just as much of a right to ask a qualified prospect to invest time and effort to get you what you need as he does to ask you to get him what he needs.

Source: Craig James, founder and president of Sales Solutions

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
BIG reports that distilled spirits and wine both saw gains last year, continuing to grab share from the overall beer category. The analysts attribute the trends largely to the improving economy and a return to a "trading up" trend that had dominated the industry prior to the recession. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Kawasaki is twisting the throttle all the way and kicking it up to fifth gear this spring with its largest experiential programs to date, as well as a spring promotional campaign supported by national ads and a tie-in to the latest release from the band Green Day (Kawasaki's brand color is green.) ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Consumers sign up and then log in their steps on Walgreens' dedicated website, earning rewards from such brands as Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as gym chain Lifetime Fitness and Famous Footwear. Those who participate in live events get a pedometer and logbook; others can download digital tools on its Web site. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
State Farm has launched a new social networking page for Latinos on Facebook, while Allstate is beefing up its presence in Major League Soccer in hopes of appealing to Hispanic fans. State Farm claims to be the first national insurance company to create a bilingual page for Latinos. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Melissa Sexton, integrated marketing director, adult feminine care brands at K-C, tells Marketing Daily that the evolution toward designs makes sense given the premise of the U by Kotex brand. "I think this really is consistent with U by Kotex and idea that it's a brand that gives women a voice," she says. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
When it comes to smartphone users, digital couponing rates are even higher, says John Fetto, senior marketing manager for Experian Simmons. Among U.S. iPhone owners, 34% used digital coupons, compared with 21% of non-iPhone users. As smartphones become even more prevalent, the use of couponing is also likely to grow. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Whether it's due to a very late Easter or a jelly bean-hungry consumer, holiday spending is expected to rise to $14.6 billion, according to the latest poll from the National Retail Federation. That works out to about $131.04 for the average consumer, a considerable hop from last year's $118.60, but still not quite at pre-recession spending levels. ...Read the whole story >>

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The Directory of Ineffective Advertising

Several years ago, before Facebook, a friend of mine used the term, the directory of ineffective advertising to describe the phone book.

What was true then is truer today.

Bob Killian
wrote about this:

Why are the Yellow Pages like Nursing Homes?

They’re shockingly expensive, few people under 70 use them, and many who do are a little out of it.

Moral of the story? When you invest in Yellow Pages ads, you’re setting fire to money.

Are we being a little harsh on this venerable (read: antique) information source? Hell no. This obsolete technology sucks millions of dollars away from more cost-effective marketing tools, while delivering less every year. There are better uses for your budget, especially if you market goods and services to people who don’t remember the Truman Administration.

Way back in the 20th Century…

Old man and yellow pages

The answer to Where can I buy a refrigerator? used to be let your fingers do the walking. But the only people who continue to walk those fingers in this millennium are the ones who got into that habit decades ago. Google and Yahoo, to cite two sites, offer vastly more information, from more sources, more quickly. Fresher info, too. Phone book accuracy begins to decay the moment it comes off the printing press.

Click here to continue.

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New Ad Campaigns

Amy at Mediapost sends out this email every Wednesday, and I post it here for you to read.

Contact info for Amy is at the end.

Baseball season begins. Hot topic is Brian Wilson's beard -- still. Let's launch!

1Three Olives Vodka launched an animated TV campaign March 28, where each ad plays off the joke, "three guys walk into a bar." Different trios enter a bar with varying approaches to getting a drink. Take the three cowboys, for example. The first two use their marksmanship to shoot down glasses, vodka and sliced lemons for the bartender to pour and serve. The third cowboy outsmarts his pals by shooting them and taking their drinks. Watch it here. Three sportscasters are itching for an after-work adult beverage, but instant replay holds them back, in a scenario, seen here. In the last ad, three sugar daddies walk into a bar... and by the end of the ad, they're still walking, having made little progress. See it here. M&C Saatchi created the campaign.

2Emerald launched a set of TV ads promoting its Breakfast on the Go packages of nuts, fruits and granola, marketed as an alternative to breakfast bars. A woman riding the subways offers a robot, chomping on a cardboard-looking breakfast bar, some of her breakfast on the go. Anything not shaped like a breakfast bar does not compute for the robot on her commute. See it here. A robot at work offers a breakfast bar to his co-worker, who's munching on Emerald bites. The robot starts eating his bar and spewing chunks onto his colleague. What a way to start the day. Watch it here. In the final ad, a robotic mom "commences standard breakfast procedure" by eating a Nutri-Grain bar through her conveyor belt mouth, leaving behind a red trail that looks like blood. See it here. "Humanize Your Morning" concludes the ads, created by Deutsch LA, its first work for the brand.

3Major League Baseball launched a branding campaign called "MLB Always Epic" that coincided with opening day. It also guarantees that the word epic won't go away anytime soon. More than 30 ads will run throughout the baseball season, and if they're anything like the first three, I'm going to enjoy them greatly. Pitcher Felix Hernandez, aka "King Felix," plays a carnival game where he wins a prize for knocking down milk bottles with baseballs. Too easy. The booth quickly shuts down, once Hernandez wins a mound of stuffed animals. Watch it here. You know those miniature personalized license plates that kids have with their names on them? Sadly, for Ubaldo Jimenez, he can't find his name, so he asks the clerk if he has more plates in the back. See it here. Fans get a look inside San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson's infamous black beard in the next ad, seen here. There's maypole dancing and a ninja. I am not making this up. Each lighthearted ad drives viewers to MLB's Always Epic Web site. Pondering what else resides in Brian Wilson's beard? If you check out MLB's site, you'll find that answer: lumberjacks! Hill Holliday created the campaign.

4We're not done with Brian Wilson just yet. He goes from playful to fearful in ESPN's latest "This is SportsCenter" spot. The closer shows SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris and Josh Elliott his intimidation face, yet the anchors initially don't "Fear the Beard." Wilson shows the pair another intimidating glance that involves his beard spouting hairy tentacles, causing the anchors to lose their lunch. See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York.

5Saatchi & Saatchi New York created a great TV ad for Head & Shoulders that combines the beginning of baseball season with a famous football player enjoying his off season. Minnesota Twins' catcher Joe Mauer puts a towel on his head and does his best imitation of Troy Polamalu from the Pittsburgh Steelers -- the soft-spoken football player with beautiful, flowing hair. In the midst of Mauer's imitation, Polamalu appears and quietly asks if Mauer is making fun of him. After initially denying it, Mauer removes the towel and admits his wrongdoing. Watch the ad here.

6Actor Donald Faison goes medieval in an ad for Electronic Arts' The Sims Medieval videogame. Faison guides gamers through a world where they can play the role of knight, king, bard or spy, creating their own adventure. There are thousands of customizations for players to choose from. See the ad here, created by Draftfcb San Francisco.


Is this where the Bronx Zoo cobra went? Mentos launched another amusing TV spot starring Dragee, a man seeking positivity and clarity in life. This time around, Dragee plays the role of snake charmer, using his positive force, and Mentos mint, to change the course of nature. As Dragree moves toward the snakes, he is bitten many times as a test from the cobras. "Dragee, may we all live the fresh, positive Mentos way of life," says his follower Rick, as Dragee dies from his snakebites. See the ad here, created by Martin Agency and mixed by Sound Lounge.

8Here's a way to play with your food without getting messy. McDonald's launched a series of online promotions supporting its McCafe Shake (now with whipped cream and a cherry), Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Viewers are driven to a site where McDonald's gives you an excuse to celebrate, or go out and buy a McCafe shake. Today, for example, is Tartan Day, but don't let the fact that you're not Scottish prevent you from joining in on the festivities. Then there's the Perfectly Simple, Simply Perfect promos that highlight the ingredients in a Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Users can sift through ingredients and throw cheese, pickles and lettuce around your screen. And your hands stay clean! Tribal DDB created the promotions.

9Random iPhone and Android App of the week: I'm not a huge wrestling fan, but I love the WWE series, "Tough Enough." The series returned on USA Network this week and there's an app for both Android and iPhone/iPad users. The app allows fans to check in, similar to Foursquare, and connects users to fellow fans, along with show participants. Fans can check in to unlock "Tough Enough" content, like deleted scenes and pictures, throughout the show and become a part of USA's affinity rewards program. Accruing points online can lead to actual, offline goodies. The app was designed by USA and developed in conjunction with Digitaria.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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Ever Fire a Customer?

There are times when you need to move on.

Advice from

How to Fire a Bad Customer

When you're trying to hold on to every last customer, you might not realize that some of them are doing your company more harm than good. "One thing most business owners don't consider," writes Rohit Bhargava at the Influential Marketing Blog, "is whether their best business decision may actually involve FIRING some of their worst customers."

Definitions for "bad customer" will differ, but they might refer to...

  • Those who require an extraordinary amount of attention
  • Those whose demanding or abusive treatment of your staff causes high rates of turnover

Bhargava has this advice for how to handle your bad customers:

  • Identify the real problem. Because relationships sour over time, the source of a conflict might not be readily apparent. Don't proceed until you have a good sense of what's really going wrong.
  • Take responsibility for your mistakes. "Showing good faith to fix what you can fix from your end will be important not only to try and salvage the relationship," he says, "but also to demonstrate to your customer that you are really trying to make the relationship work better."
  • Present the issue to your customer. They might be receptive to your feedback, and they might implement positive changes that move them back to the "good customer" column. Or they might push back. If that happens...
  • Establish a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy. "This is not always something that you can communicate to your customer," he notes, "but internally your employees need to know that there is a process that you will be using to put the customer on final notice before you make a decision."
  • Terminate and refer. Handle the "firing" with a positive attitude, and demonstrate your goodwill by helping the customer to find another vendor.

The Po!nt: Losing any customer will cause a likely drop in revenue—but you'll free up resources to find and build more profitable partnerships.

Source: Influential Marketing Blog.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read to your hearts content!

by Karlene Lukovitz
Mars Inc. had four out of the 10 most effective television ads running in the first quarter, according to Ace Metrix. The humorous commercial shows sharks in a focus group expressing a preference for the taste of a human being who had just eaten a Squared (peanut butter and Snickers) over a human who had eaten a regular peanut butter cup. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Joerg Reimann, BMW i Ventures managing director and VP of strategy and target management at BMW Group, was in town last week for the awards show, along with Dr. Bernhard Blaettel, BMW director of project mobility services, and Alexander Diehl, who is consulting on the project. The trio spoke with Marketing Daily about BMW i Ventures goals. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
But there's also clear evidence of an industry struggling to keep pace with a changing luxury market. "Luxury watches and jewelry are an extremely vulnerable category," says Pamela N. Danziger, author of the forthcoming Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury . "And it's not just because of the recession. They face significant demographic threats." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
A new multifaceted campaign focuses on the post-recession investor who is seeking a better way to manage their investment portfolio in the wake of the financial crisis. It includes TV, print and online elements that dramatize the perils of "accidental investing." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
AT&T is looking to connect with U.S. Hispanics, the culture and their passions through the power of music, with a new Spanish advertising campaign featuring Grammy Award-winning singer Natalia Jimenez. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The National Basketball Association is letting the ball talk in a major ad campaign to promote the playoffs and finals. The new campaign, via Goodby Silverstein & Partners, has two phases, one in which basketballs reminisce about great moments in which players dribbled, passed and shot them into hoops and a second wherein they interview legendary players. ...Read the whole story >>

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Not So Fast.....

I'm a big pro-social media person.

This website along with 3 others I update around 50 times a week are blog websites which is one of the early forms of social media.

But I also know the danger of jumping out of something and into something else without understanding what you are doing.

There has been a big social media marketing push the past few years and some businesses thought it would replace traditional advertising and marketing.

Not So Fast....

Social Media Can't Save You!

There's an epidemic taking place. Brands big and small are rushing into social media. In many cases, several months down the road they find themselves disappointed with the results and disenchanted with social media in general.

Case in point: I was recently speaking at a conference to a full auditorium of marketers. I asked how many of them were doing some degree of social media marketing. Most of the hands in the audience went up. The next question was, "How many of you are disappointed with the response you're getting." Again, most of the hands in the room were raised. And this is usually the case. I can't tell you how many other businesses I speak to that have a basic Facebook fan page and a Twitter feed and not a lot of love or money to show for it.

The Medium Isn't the Problem

It's my experience however, that these problems rarely have much to do with the value or effectiveness of social media. In most cases, the problem is that brands simply aren't in shape for social media in the first place. They lack definition, position and purpose. Their story is lackluster and their consumer value nebulous. In some cases, internal communication is so poor that it makes outward communication almost impossible.

Here's the thing. Social media is not a modifier, it's an amplifier. It doesn't change your brand's voice; it just turns the volume up to eleven. If your brand has nothing to say -- no story to tell, social media will only amplify the uncomfortable silence. If your culture lacks fluid and open communication, your discomfort and awkwardness in engaging followers will come through loud and clear. If your brand value proposition isn't obvious, your social media messages will be confused and only muddy the waters further.

The result will be that every tweet, post and update aimed at building community around your brand will simply confuse, disenfranchise and disappoint more potential followers. You will un-market yourself into oblivion.

The Social Media Breathalyzer

Breathalyzers can be installed in the ignition systems of cars to prevent drunk driving. It's too bad we don't have the same kind of apparatus available before starting social media programs. In lieu of something more sophisticated, here's a very simple brand sobriety test. If you fail, don't turn the key on social media!

  • If you didn't work for your brand, would you care that it existed?
  • Do you have a product or service story to tell that people should even give a damn about? Something that excites, inspires, or entertains?
  • Can you articulate your unique value in one or two short sentences without using jargon?
  • Will what you share with people be so valuable, interesting or remarkable that they will not only notice it, but also enthusiastically share it with others?
If you don't have solid answers to these 4 basic questions, then social media won't save you. In fact, it might hurt you. Fix the brand first.

Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, recently said, "There's more original content created today in 48 hours than there was from the beginning of time until 2003." In other words, before you tap customers on the shoulder, you better have something valuable to say.

(Source: Doug Stephens, Retail Prophet Consulting, 03/22/11)

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Combine the Best of Both in Retail

This is one of my favorite ways to buy online and not have to wait for delivery.


Why Customers Might Want to Pick Up Online Orders at Your Store

Barnes & Noble pioneered the concept of online orders shipped to brick-and-mortar stores for customer pickup. In Marketing by the Numbers, Leland Harden and Bob Heyman present a case study on another successful "ship-to-store" program: Ace Hardware's.

"When a customer selects ship-to-store service," they explain, "orders are fulfilled out of the warehouse for shipping to the local Ace—at no charge."

According to Ace eCommerce Marketing Supervisor, Mark Lowe, ship-to-store is a wildly popular option: online shoppers choose in-store pickups 73 percent of the time. It's not hard to see why:

  • The absence of shipping charges means substantial savings on larger items like grills and table saws, and thus lowers barrier of entry to high-priced purchases.
  • With once- or twice-weekly shipments from the warehouse, delivery times can rival those of UPS shipments sent straight to a customer's house.

Stores, meanwhile, appreciate that 33 percent of customers who pick up an online purchase also buy other items during their visits.

But before you spring a similar program on your brick-and-mortar locations, make sure they're ready: "Retailers have a lot going on in their stores every day, and this is just an additional responsibility that you're asking them to handle," says Lowe. "So [make] it as easy as possible for them to receive those orders, give it to the customer during pickup, and then, if necessary, take that return. I think it's really important that if you allow ship to store, you also allow them to return the product to the store."

The Po!nt: Customers like ship-to-store options—and a substantial number might just buy something else while they're taking delivery.

Source: Marketing by the Numbers.

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Getting Better

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Strive for Continuous Improvement

Great salespeople are constantly on the lookout for new ways to sharpen their skills.

Sometimes that means recording (and listening back) to a cold call to ensure it was on point.

Other times it means asking a trusted colleague to join them on a sales call, so they can gain an objective, third-party perspective.

The key: Always keep an eye out for ways to provide a better buying experience for customers, and, in so doing, raise the bar on your own performance.

The more skills salespeople can add to their "sales toolkit," the greater potential they have to consistently reach new heights.

Source: Based in part on From a Good Sales Call to a Great Sales Call, by Richard M. Schroder

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

Food and Beverages
by Tanya Irwin
The dueling videos came about because Stonyfield Farm CEO Gary Hirshberg and Coca-Cola's Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman are longtime friends, Goldman tells Marketing Daily. "When I saw Gary's rap, I knew that we could put together a very different kind of rap that could also help generate awareness about the importance of organics," he says. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The automaker is revealing "The 21st Century Beetle" with a world debut on three continents, starting in Shanghai, China, tied to an MTV Sound System event hosted by MTV VJ's. That will be followed by MTV World Stage events in Berlin and New York City. The New York City event features the Black Eyed Peas, a performance that will be streamed live on with highlights later broadcast on MTV networks worldwide. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Calories must be posted in clear, conspicuous font sizes and colors, next to the individual items, in all drive-throughs, as well as in all menus and menu boards. Menus/boards will also need to inform consumers that 2,000 calories per day is the recommended nutritional guideline. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
As part of the promotion of its "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters" video game, EA Sports is giving away free digital access to all 18 holes of the course, which hosts the celebrated golf tournament, via a Facebook app. The "Course View" app uses Google Street View functionality to allow a complete, shot-by-shot, hole-by-hole walk of the course, which, for the first time ever, is also playable in the game. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
One year ago, Wade McGilberry was just another gamer living in Semmes, Ala. But last April, a few hours of video game baseball changed his life. After throwing the first verified perfect game in the 2K Sports' "MLB2K10" title, McGilberry won $1 million, as part of the brand's Million Dollar Challenge promotion. Now, he's become a spokesman for the game. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While it's hard to find people who like doing their taxes, a new poll from OfficeMax adds new perspective to just how loathsome a task it can be: Four out of 10 adults surveyed in its latest "Tax it to me" survey say they think taking a pair of scissors to their own hair is less dangerous than filing their own taxes. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
This latest survey of 108 client-side marketers by the Association of National Advertisers also showed that 63% indicated that their budgets had either increased or remained the same -- a definite improvement over 54% in January 2010 and 29% in January 2009 who reported same/increased budgets. ...Read the whole story >>

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